Tuesday, May 25, 2021

A you sitting comfortably?

By Rick Blechta Okay, by giving my blog post this particular title I’ve given myself a major ear worm in the form of a song from the late ’60s by the Moody Blues. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDVqQzsJg3s)

However that’s not what I’m getting at with my post today. I’m writing about actual sitting, as in parking one’s posterior in one particular place or other.

In other words, where do you most enjoy sitting while you read?

My question concerns real-life experiences, not the place you most like to be if you were lucky enough to get there — and in our current times, that is a very tempting daydream to entertain. 

To be really specific, where do you generally plant yourself to really enjoy a few hours of turning pages in a good book. 

I generally read sitting up in bed, as I suspect many of us do, but that is not my favourite place. We also have a rather lovely chaise lounge and several bits of shade in our backyard, and on a nice summer day, it can be quite delightful. 

To tell you about that place where I most like to be I must first tell you a brief story. 

My last two years of university were spent at McGill’s Faculty of Music. You see, I met this rather beautiful redheaded young woman who was attending Montreal’s best known post secondary institution, so I had to switch not only schools, but countries to be with her. 

We shared a very lovely apartment in the area near the eastern entrance to the campus called “the student ghetto.” While some of the apartments in this area were indeed appalling, we lucked into a very nice space, a bit down in the heel, but it was cozy and quite spacious. 

One day, we helped a neighbour bring some things up from the basement of our building where he had a locker. We couldn’t afford one and actually had no need for extra storage space because we had very little furniture. Down there we discovered an old upholstered armchair, sitting in a corner of the main room. It was in rather poor shape, but it was sound and when I sat in it, I was instantly comfortable.

“Who owns this?” I asked our neighbour who had lived in the building for several years. 

“I have no idea. It was sitting here when I moved in and hasn’t budged an inch. Since I’m the longest-tenured person living here, I suppose it was left here by someone who moved out long ago. 

Later that day, I asked the superintendent the same question and got the same answer, followed by, “Get it out of there and it’s yours.” 

As I mentioned before, we had very little furniture, actually mostly pillows on the floor and double-stacked twin mattresses pretending to be a sofa, so this orphaned chair was a welcome addition. My girlfriend (now wife of 50 years) bought an India-print throw to cover up the worn, stained, and threadbare covering and we had finally a Real Piece of Furniture — as long as no one lifted the cover. 

We moved twice more while attending school and the chair always came with us. I did a lot of reading and studying sitting in it, and when we moved to Toronto with the band I was in, we naturally brought my favourite chair. It’s moved an additional three more times since then and is still with us. 

Sometime in there, we found ourselves with a few extra dollars so we finally got the chair reupholstered. I remember the old man who did commenting, “They don’t make furniture like this anymore. You’re doing the right thing by getting this old girl fixed up.” 

I felt absurdly proud. 

Since we’ve always had cats, everyone of which has liked to sharpen their claws on My Chair, it’s had to be reupholstered twice now and to be honest, it will shortly need the job done again, but we’re waiting for our final cat to shed her mortal coil before we do that.

And at the end of my tale, that is the place where I most like to read. I believe my body has changed over the years to fit that seat better, and it’s in the place of honour in our living room. Any time I can’t sleep, you’ll find me in it, reading something while trying to get sleepy again.

Now that I’m done with this week’s post, I’m going to repair there and dig into the novel I’m currently reading. 

Tell me about your special and most favourite place to read, if you will. I’m certain we’ll all be fascinated.


Anna said...

That must be The Chair in your photo, right?

My Reading Place is at one end of the dining table in a >30-year-old chair with a bentwood frame and a slight rocking action. On the table is an adjustable reading stand. This is also my Writing Place when I write by hand.

Rick Blechta said...

Hi Anna,

Yes, that is The Chair. I've added a caption now to make sure it's clear.

Your chair sounds lovely.

My chair isn't too good for writing on the computer because of the arms, however when I do write in longhand, I use a lovely lap desk I bought from Levenger.com many years ago. I has a cushion on the back and it's just perfect for the job, whether I'm sitting in my chair, or sitting up in bed. Perhaps I should have mentioned that in my walk down memory lane!

Thanks for commenting!

Susan D said...

I'm fortunate to have many comfy reading places. My vintage Ikea couch, with lots of cushions and a quilt. My vintage Ikea chair by the front window, with lots of sunlight and a big vintage footstool from a consignment shop. In summer, a vintage folding canvas deck chair on the back deck ($2 at a garage sale, and the owner said it's from the 1920s, and was used in a CBC TV movie that starred Kate Nelligan). And, at the cottage, on the dock in a big red NEW Muskoka chair. Ahhhh....

See a theme here? Cheap and cheerful and comfy. And vintage. And lots of light.